Cody Quinn, a life and health insurance agent in Lexington, Ky., says his B.B.A. in risk management and insurance from Eastern Kentucky University gave him two major career advantages: the foundational knowledge needed to navigate the insurance world and the connections that led to his first job. He quickly realized that the EKU faculty and staff were also committed to his career development, because all risk management and insurance students are encouraged to complete an internship for course credit.
“My professors were great, and they did a great job of explaining the material. The program gave me a great understanding of insurance and how coverages work – along with basic terminology,” he recalled.
Although not required, the internship is a great way for those who are new to the profession to meet colleagues and jump start their careers. Non-traditional students who are already working in the field can use the internship to explore new areas, often in partnership with their current employers.
Thanks to the connections EKU faculty have in the profession, many agencies contact the university directly to find qualified candidates for open positions. Students are notified about positions regularly, and are also invited to attend professional conferences and meet industry professionals.
“They do an outstanding job with outreach and with job placement. The introductions and networking opportunities with insurance professionals are invaluable,” said Cody.
He accepted an internship in a small office where the owner was the single agent. That allowed him to get hands-on training and become more familiar with health insurance. He learned more about individual options and the Medicare marketplace, and gained experience in small group employee benefits.
Following the example set by his professors, he has continued to grow his professional network and advance his career. Today, he co-chairs the Central Kentucky Association of Health Underwriters Programs Committee, and he’s a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters.
He works as an employee benefits advisor with Al Torstrick Insurance Agency where he helps organizations with up to 500 employees navigate and often reduce their healthcare costs. With his guidance, companies take proactive steps like evaluating alternate sources of funding or establishing employee wellness programs.
He credits the EKU risk management and insurance program with setting him on the right track for career development. “I would have never been where I am today without the program,” he said. “EKU does a fantastic job of getting the students in front of future employers.”
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